REVIEW: ‘Robin and Batman,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Robin and Batman #2

Robin and Batman #2 is a comic published by DC Comics. The comic is written by Jeff Lemire, with both art and colors by Dustin Nguyen. The letterer is Steve Wands.

This is a small series depicting Dick Grayson’s very early career as Robin. Only just starting out as a sidekick and a ward of Bruce Wayne, the relationship between adoptive father and son is fraught at best.  This issue begins with Dick getting into trouble at school, still seething over the invasion of his privacy. It is also his birthday, and Batman has a surprise for him. He takes him to the Justice League Watchtower, meeting the incredible superheroes up there. But as the adult members leave for a mission, Robin is introduced to some of the other teenagers up there, including Speedy, Kid Flash, and Wonder Girl. 

This plot is brilliant due to the emotions it draws from the audience. The beginning of Robin and Batman #2 is gloomy and moody, matching that of the main character. Dick is petulant, frustrated, and upset, and that hangs in the air of the comic. But once the journey is made to the Watchtower, that is replaced with wonder and excitement.  This happiness does not remain, however, but the shifting of tones displays excellent scripting by Lemire. Robin and Batman is a very short series, only containing three issues, so much of the story has moved quickly. There is also a part of this series that appears to be new, in regards to Killer Croc being part of the same circus as the Grayson family. It adds a different spin to the story. The final part of the issue isn’t necessarily surprising, but it sets up an exciting finale.

Nguyen’s art is fascinating and stunning. The sketch-like quality of the panels gives a rough edge to the design. Few lines appear like they are inked, the others having the appearance of initial pencils. It instills a unique look to the comic. There are several additional figures in this issue, including numerous superheroes and their younger counterparts. Their designs are awesome and fit the artist’s style. The facial expressions are flawless in their depiction. On one page, four panels all feature the same perspective on Robin’s face. And yet, each one has a slight alteration, a masterclass in quiet moments. The action scenes are epic in their scale as well.

The colors are intriguing. In Gotham, Batman’s world, everything is dark. The palette is close to monochromatic. The shadows encase everything, and Batman is the king of the shadows. In many instances, he is almost entirely obscured by black and grey shading. The only real color in these scenes is Robin, the red and gold stunning among the gloom. But within the Justice League members, there is much more vibrancy. White is the primary color here, intense compared to the murkiness of Gotham. There’s a wealth of different tones and shades as Superman, Green Arrow, Aquaman appear. The watercolor paint is skillfully applied by Nguyen. The blending of different colors is gorgeous, as is the understanding of the changes in light hitting costumes and surfaces. 

The lettering from Wands is very easy to read and efficiently laid out on the pages. 

Robin and Batman #2 is an incredible character issue. Lemire understands and explores the relationships between the newly formed family brilliantly, filling each figure with humanity and depth. Writing characters in an early part of their life, when they have a wealth of storytelling beyond this point, is incredibly difficult to manage. And yet, the writing makes everything appear new and captures the excitement of the event. Nguyen’s expressive art is crucial to denoting the tone and influencing how the reader feels during every moment.

Robin and Batman #2 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Robin and Batman #2
5

TL;DR

Robin and Batman #2 is an incredible character issue. Lemire understands and explores the relationships between the newly formed family brilliantly, filling each figure with humanity and depth.